April 9, 2013
For all fifth- through 11th-graders interested in making a difference in the community, the Youth Advisory Board seeks new members for just such a service.
The board, made up of representatives from each Issaquah School District middle and high school, is looking for applicants for its 2013-2014 term. Before the May 3 deadline, dedicated teens and tweens can submit their applications to the Parks & Recreation Department along with references.
February 26, 2013
The citywide ban on most retail plastic bags starts March 1, and Issaquah leaders are reminding residents and retailers to prepare for the ordinance to go into effect.
The measure also sets a 5-cent fee for most paper carryout bags. Under the ordinance, retailers keep the fee to offset the cost to phase out plastic bags. Shoppers can see the expense itemized on receipts.
Though the ordinance requires most plastic bags to disappear from retailers in March, consumers should not expect to see the bags vanish altogether.
The legislation contains exemptions for plastic bags for bakery items, bulk foods, meat, produce, dry cleaning, newspapers, small hardware items and takeout foods.
January 22, 2013
The leader at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, the Rev. Ann Lukens, plans to retire from the post Jan. 27 after a dozen years.
Lukens spearheaded and oversaw significant expansions at the downtown Issaquah church, including a modernization and expansion of facilities, encouraging more music in worship and deepening St. Michael’s ties to the community.
Throughout Lukens’ tenure, St. Michael’s adapted to accommodate a burgeoning congregation. The church remodeled and added space for Sunday school classrooms a decade ago and, in June 2011, consecrated a 4,985-square-foot addition to almost double the church’s footprint.
St. Michael’s, founded in 1953, used the 2011 expansion to refresh the church façade and add a music center to make room for popular music programs and children’s ministries.
From the pulpit, Lukens led meaningful Holy Week services — Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday — offered parishioners a chance to worship in festive attire on All Hallows and, before Lent, Fat Sunday.
January 22, 2013
Kiwanis Club of Issaquah coat drive a success
Issaquah Kiwanis annual coat and shoe drive last month collected more than 500 donations for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. Several pairs of warm socks and scarves were also donated.
Top donations came from Hawkins Orthodontics with a record 171 coats and shoes, Pine Lake Club’s 84 items and the Liberty High School Key Club’s 74 items.
December 25, 2012
Swedish/Issaquah receives patient satisfaction honor
The Swedish/Issaquah emergency room was recently named a 2012 Summit Award Winner by Press Ganey Associates.
The ER received the award by achieving and maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 95th percentile or above for at least three consecutive years. The Swedish/Issaquah team also won in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The Press Ganey Summit Award is the health care satisfaction industry’s most coveted symbol of achievement bestowed annually. The Swedish/Issaquah ER is one of 114 health care facilities in the country to receive the prestigious honor in 2012, and one of only 101 to receive it for achieving and sustaining excellence in patient satisfaction.
December 18, 2012
Christmas revelers can listen to holiday music and benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank as Abide Bible Church hosts a benefit concert for the nonprofit organization.
The event is meant to collect food for the food bank and raise awareness about the organization’s mission. The concert is open to the public, and organizers ask attendees to bring a food donation for admission.
December 17, 2012
December 11, 2012
By the numbers
Data from the most recent year available, 2011, illustrates how Issaquah ranks against other King County cities in per capita funding for human services.
Source: City of Issaquah
Representatives from a spectrum of organizations — nonprofit human services groups offering affordable housing, safe havens for domestic violence victims, assistance to struggling students and more — successfully lobbied City Council members Dec. 3 to stave off a $48,750 drop in funding for such programs.
The council agreed to allocate $280,750 in the $42 million general fund budget for human services grants, but only after a council committee pushed to increase the amount and local nonprofit organizations pleaded for the council not to eliminate $48,750 in funding.
Grants go to organizations such as Eastside Baby Corner, Friends of Youth and the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank to offer services to residents from Issaquah and the Issaquah School District.
In a 4-3 decision, council members agreed to increase the amount budgeted for human services by $48,750 from the $233,250 the council recommended in earlier budget deliberations. The additional dollars for human services grants comes from the municipal rainy day fund.
Councilwoman Eileen Barber initiated the process to restore the human services funding.
Then, before the split decision, representatives from local human services organizations — including Catholic Community Services, Issaquah Community Services and LifeWire — beseeched the council to restore funds for grants.
“At a time when I see the needs rising among our students, and I see the return on investment for cities in investing in students while they’re still in school, I think it’s a critical time for you to consider being able to support organizations, such as the schools foundation, in retaining our current funding,” Issaquah Schools Foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said.
Several referenced the Great Recession and the fragile economy recovery in pleas to the council.
“I believe that our nonprofits are still recovering from the recession,” Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank Executive Director Cori Kauk said. “Many of our local nonprofits haven’t rebounded yet and they still need your support. Now is really not a good time for cuts.”
Council President Tola Marts said the city did not intend to undercut human services organizations through the budget reduction.
“In a time when the state and the county are reducing funds — and I realize that puts even more strain on local budgets — I think the intent of the council when we did the budget was that we thought that was a strong position to take,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s been perceived as a Grinchian position.”
The council acts on recommendations from the municipal Human Services Commission. Overall, commissioners received 60 grant applications totaling $366,283 in requests for 2013.
Commission Chairwoman Maggie Baker, disappointed about the proposed reduction in funding, pored over data from the U.S. Census Bureau to better quantify the need in the community.
“I realized that with $47,000 less, we weren’t going to be able to do the right thing for our 1,365 Issaquah neighbors 65 and over who live with at least one disability that keeps them from completing an activity of daily living, such as eating, dressing or bathing,” she said.
December 4, 2012
Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Nov. 30 — 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.
In a ceremony on the Senate floor, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath to Mullet as the Democrat’s family members watched.
Mullet joined the Senate after a bruising contest against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District — a mishmash between suburban and rural communities stretched between Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass.
The last senator to represent the district, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug, resigned from the seat in June to serve on a state board. Sammamish Republican Dino Rossi — senator from the district in the late 1990s and early 2000s — served in the role between Pflug’s resignation and Mullet’s arrival.
December 4, 2012
Demand is high at food banks across Washington, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Agriculture, and officials urged residents to donate to local food assistance programs.
The figures from the state agency show one in five Washington residents visited a food bank at least once during the past year. Between June 2011 and June 2012, officials recorded more than 8.6 million visits to food banks statewide — 500,000 more visits than in the previous year.
The holiday season often focuses attention on the need at the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
Find a list of needs, or donate to the food bank online, at www.issaquahfoodbank.org.